Home Local News The Madison Mavericks, Madison’s semi-pro basketball team, kicks off fourth season on...

The Madison Mavericks, Madison’s semi-pro basketball team, kicks off fourth season on Saturday

The Mavericks, Madison’s semi-pro basketball team, who compete in the Hype Hoops League, kick off their season on Saturday. (Photo: Madison Mavericks)

The Madison Mavericks will officially kick off its fourth season on Saturday, April 6, at noon with a home game at the Madison College gym against the Chicago Rebels.

The Mavericks, Madison’s semi-pro basketball team who compete in the Hype Hoops League, had a promising season last year ending up one game away from the championship game losing to Quad City United in the semifinals. 

We had a great season last year,” Roy Boone, the majority owner of the Madison Mavericks, tells Madison365. “Unfortunately, we lost in the Final Four to go to the championship. It still was a good tournament because we got to host that year, too. So we got to play at home. We lost to a good team, Quad City United out of Iowa, who’s one of the better organizations in our league.” The Mavericks split with Quad City during the regular season last year.

This year’s Mavericks squad has a 20-man roster that has been practicing for months. They will have 15 active players every week and plenty of players returning from last year.

Roy Boone
(Photo supplied.)

“We have [former Madison La Follette athlete] David Turner, the league MVP in 2022 and [former Madison Memorial standout] Shareef Smith who was MVP last year coming off a knee injury,” Boone says. “We have the same core of guys returning from a successful season.”

There will also be a bunch of new basketball players on the squad this year. 

“We picked up Mitch Listau from Waunakee who played at UW-Green Bay and was a good high school player. We picked up Mario Williams, a 6’7″ wing/point guard from Milwaukee who played at Sauk Valley Community College and then when played in Europe after that. I’m excited to see them on April 6. I think this season is going to be great when everything comes together.”

The coach of the Mavericks will be Demitri Visvardis, who was an assistant coach for the Mavs last year. The opening game will be against the Chicago Rebels. “They are a good team who were in the final four last year and they will be coming ready,” Boone says. “So we have to be ready, too.” 

As always, Mavericks basketball games are family-friendly events where kids’ admission is free when they attend with an adult. 

“There will be raffles and lots of giveaways, toys and we have the Special Olympics for our halftime, which is huge,” Boone says. “We do media timeout giveaways. It will be a fun time for the kids and a chance to see some great basketball. The games are super exciting. I look forward to them every week.”

Boone says that he was initially convinced to become involved with the Mavericks by former UW women’s basketball standout Tamara Moore, a member of the UW Athletic Hall of Fame, who founded the Hype Hoops League.

“She’s the one who got me involved in this. I knew this would be a lot of work and so I was a little hesitant at first,” Boone remembers. “But once we started and once the guys started coming and we began growing a fanbase, I started really falling in love with it and I just wanted to see it continue to grow. There’s a need for it here in Madison. This is a great platform for guys to continue to chase their dreams.”

Boone earned all-state recognition and was the Big 8 Conference Player of the Year for Madison East High School before going on to play for the Wisconsin Badgers and helping them make a surprising run to the 2000 NCAA Final Four. Boone went on to play professionally in Germany in Europe’s top league, the Southern Crescent Lightning of the World Basketball Association (WBA), and Minnesota Ripknees of the American Basketball Association (ABA).

“When I got done with college and I was just trying to figure out what I was going to do and where I was going to play, and there weren’t many semi-pro teams around,” Boone remembers. “So I was at home sitting on the couch going through what I thought was a midlife crisis.”

Boone would soon sign with the Rockford Lightning of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA). “It was a chance for me to get out of my comfort zone and to play hard,” Boone remembers. “So we’re happy to have basketball here in Madison now. It’s a great platform for guys to continue to chase their dreams.”

The Mavericks had a great season last year making it to the Final Four before losing to Quad City United.

For the community, having semi-pro basketball in town is a great opportunity, too, especially for young people and aspiring basketball players and fans.

“For kids who can’t get to a [Milwaukee] Bucks game or a [Wisconsin] Badger game, the Mavericks are great basketball and great entertainment. It’s free and it’s in the community and it’s a family event,” Boone says. 

“And Madison College is the best place to play. It’s a beautiful facility. So we really appreciate them letting us use the new facility for our home games. Then people get to see how nice the college is.  

“It all starts April 6. We hope to see people out at the game.”